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Demand for talent increases as Malaysia becomes regional procurement & supply chain hub


Candidates with regional experience will be highly sought after as manufacturers intend to tighten cost control by relocating procurement operations to lower-cost countries such as Malaysia.

According to Hays, senior-level procurement and supply chain candidates with regional exposure will be in demand by employers in Malaysia as companies seek to streamline procurement processes and enhance logistics efficiency.

“A number of companies are centralising procurement in the region, and they are hoping to find managers with experience in handling operations in more than one market,” says Tom Osborne, Regional Director of Hays in Malaysia. “We expect to see an upswing in demand for such talent this quarter.”

In the latest Hays Quarterly Report, Hays finds that Malaysian candidates will still be favoured by employers for their understanding of the local market and surrounding countries such as Singapore and Indonesia. “There is a pool of local talent to tap into,” says Tom. “But companies are also open to hiring expatriates with the relevant regional experience.”

Tom adds that companies looking to better control procurement costs are relocating procurement operations to lower cost-based countries, with Malaysia being one of the options. Some specialists, such as those with strong experience in food & beverage (F&B) packaging, media or digital, will be in high demand as these companies focus on expanding their category-focused teams.

Within the supply chain segment, there is an increasing number of opportunities for professionals with a mix of operations and strategic experience.

“Multinational companies are undergoing further restructuring to streamline their operations and increase efficiency by adopting a leaner model,” says Tom. “These companies seek professionals with cross-sector experience to help fine-tune their supply chain businesses. Candidates with a strong track record in process improvement will be highly valued.” However, it will be challenging to secure such highly-skilled candidates due to the increasing competition and talent pool shortage.

“Planners with excellent forecasting abilities in high-volume and fast-moving industries such as consumer goods, consumer electronics and F&B will be another key hiring focus as companies seek to keep costs low” Tom adds.

As companies continue to invest in the supply chain function, more regional or cluster roles are being created, which will further drive demand for candidates with regional experience.

To read the full Hays Quarterly Report, including candidate and employer trends, please visit

Hays is located in Kuala Lumpur at Suite 4 & 5, Level 23, Menara 3, Petronas, Kuala Lumpur City Centre. Phone +60 3 2786 8600 or email

Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.

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For further information please contact Esabella Yeung, Marketing Executive SEA, Asia at Hays, on +65 6424 0158 or


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